Why Palm Beach Should be Glad Kucinich Isn't Coming to Dinner

Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio congressman known for his love of television cameras and his quixotic presidential bids, will no longer be the keynote speaker at this Saturday's Palm Beach County Democratic Party dinner. He canceled the gig last week after several local Dems lambasted his voting record on Israel.

As state Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, told the Palm Beach Post: "There's probably a dozen members of Congress who consistently, always vote against Israel. Consistently. And Dennis Kucinich is one of them."

Whether such criticism is warranted depends on one's political slant. "He's a national figure who's very popular," says Mark Siegel, Palm Beach County Democratic party chairman. "Plus, he's a charming guy and an excellent speaker."

But there are plenty of reasons why Palm Beachers should be glad they were spared a Kucinich speech.

In national politics, Kucinich plays the role of peace-loving liberal, railing against the Iraq War and trying to impeach former President Bush.

Yet in his native Cleveland, he's a far less beloved figure, spending more time publicizing his proposed Department of Peace than accomplishing anything for his impoverished city.

In the '70s, the Boy Mayor allowed the city to slip into default, and as a member of Congress, he's wasted millions of dollars in federal matching funds running long-shot presidential campaigns.

The Creepy Elf skips out on debates with candidates who challenge his congressional seat and is rarely seen working in his district, except when holding news conferences to... promote himself.

Take it from a former Clevelander: Palm Beach County is lucky to be missing this dinner guest.

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